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Shepherd Bushiri: Bail hearing for 5 accused posponed to end of week

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri with his wife Mary and co-accused Landiwe Sindani at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court during their bail application. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri with his wife Mary and co-accused Landiwe Sindani at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court during their bail application. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)

Published Oct 27, 2020

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Pretoria - Magistrate Thandi Theledi said she did not want to be responsible for an outbreak of Covid-19 infections in the City by allowing Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church members to wait outside only for a possible bail hearing.

All five accused Willah Mudolo, Zethu Mudolo, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, his wife Mary and Landiwe Sindani were appearing together for the first time since their arrests.

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Theledi was speaking as she postponed the matter again to the end of the week due to time constraints.

Hundreds of church members had again gathered outside the courthouse yesterday to await a slight opening in the court roll to allow for Bushiri, his wife Mary, and Sindani to continue with their bail applications.

Church members, as at other court appearances, could be seen outside in large numbers not adhering to physical distancing, with some not wearing masks, dancing, chanting and praying for the release of their “spiritual parents” along Francis Baard Street.

Theledi suggested that the bail application for all five accused in the matter be heard on Friday to allow them enough time to deal with their applications.

The reason was that she already had a full court roll to deal with for the remainder of the week.

Annalien van den Heever, the legal defence for Bushiri, his wife, and Sindani, however, indicated that they would be willing to wait for any opening that might occur.

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All five accused appeared briefly in court wherein the first accused, Willah Mudolo, indicated he would apply for bail on Friday, while his wife Zethu Mudolo would begin with her application.

Mudolo said she wanted bail because she was still breast-feeding her 9-month-old daughter and had left another 4-year-old daughter at home with her elderly mother.

Her defence also indicated her health was at risk as she had anaemia and had been unable to take her medication since her arrest on October 17.

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And even though the two children were with her 63-year-old mother, her defence indicated she too was not in good health as she battled with hypertension and would be unable to manage on her own.

The court was unable to proceed with the rest of the bail applications due to time constraints, and despite Van den Heever indicating the trio she represented would be willing to come to court again today, Theledi refused.

She said that while she understood the need for bail, she was unwilling to stand aside and watch people gathered in large numbers outside court all day, not adhering to any of the Covid-19 safety guidelines.

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“I cannot have people outside sitting all day, not adhering to social distancing because the next thing you know we will have an outbreak of the virus. It is still with us so we need to be safe.”

All the accused will return to court on Friday to proceed with their respective bail applications.

Pretoria News

Related Topics:

Crime and courts

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